|Cherry Blossom Schedule 2015|
Starbucks Japan has started serving its seasonal sakura-flavored beverage. Nestle also just released the sakura-flavored KitKat. I started seeing sakura pudding, sakura mochi, sakura ice cream, sakura tapioca and sakura sake. Loft also started selling sakura-filled postcards. Sakura flavored "somethings" is abounding in Japan signalling the start of cherry blossom season.
I think cherry blossom season should be a season on its own. People in Japan just go crazy during this time- drinking under sakura trees day and night, eating sakura-flavored food, travelling for miles just to see lines of sakura and just uttering "kawaii" and "sugoi" endlessly when seeing a sakura tree. I can't blame these Japanese. Cherry blossoms are really pretty to behold. I think even tourists know this making the cherry blossom season the busiest time of the year in Japan next to New Year's celebration.
Because we don't want to miss cherry blossoms and all the craziness that comes with it, here are some helpful websites:
1. The Bloom of Cherry Blossoms
This site has a nice cherry blossom schedule map that I can't fully copy. (So frustrating!) It also has a table that shows the schedule of the cherry blossoms in the last 10 years.
This is one of the official agencies that predicts the blooming of sakura. However, it's originally in Japanese and is only translated by Google so maybe some sentences won't make much sense. But it has a detailed information for each prefecture.
3. Be Okinawa
This is Okinawa's tourism website. Okinawa has the earliest sakura season. Apparently, it started last month.
4. Inside Kyoto: Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms Away from the Crowds
Kyoto's a popular spot for sakura viewing. If you want to miss the crowd but not the flowers, here's a great article written an author for Lonely Planet. He's also a long-time resident so I'm assuming this article provides great information.
5. 10 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid During Cherry Blossom Festival Tokyo 2015
This is a great article on cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo. It provides inside information on where to go, what to do and how to have a great time during the sakura season.
So start marking your calendars, plan for hanami and don't miss the sakura this year.